I derive and analyze coupled-mode equations for a double phase-conjugating resonator that is loaded with a volume-holographic recording medium in which multiplexed images have been stored. If the only nonlinearity present is the saturating gain of the conjugators, there is no multistability: The most deeply imprinted image always wins the competition for saturation. If several images are imprinted with equal depth, any slowly varying superposition of these images is neutrally stable. However, if a nonlinearity, arising from a space-charge-dependent cubic polarization, is present the resonator does exhibit multiple basins of stability that correspond to the faithful reconstruction of each stored image. The momentary injection of an initial image will tip the system into the basin that corresponds to the stored image that it most closely resembles, even if that image is not the most deeply imprinted one.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 23, 1988
Revised Manuscript: October 11, 1989
Manuscript Accepted: July 11, 1990
Published: January 1, 1991
Marcus S. Cohen, "Multistability and associative memory in a phase-conjugating resonator," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 8, 106-113 (1991)